For many, a timeshare agreement can seem extremely daunting and impossible to navigate a way out of. However, understanding your rights fully could help you to put an end to your timeshare burden and, in this post, we will be explaining your legal rights in relation to the Withdrawal Period.
Purchasing a timeshare is a huge financial decision, one which is often made following hours of hard-selling from relentless timeshare sales agents. If you have recently purchased a timeshare and buyer’s remorse is starting to set in, you may still be able to cancel the contract if you act quickly.
You were probably not told this during your presentation, but you have 14 days to cancel your contract. This is known as a ‘Withdrawal Period. If the timeshare is a Long-Term Holiday Product, as described under the provisions of The Timeshare Regulations 2010 in the UK, then you can terminate the agreement upon written notice to the resort, without having to explain why you want to do so.
EU countries, such as Spain, have implemented the Timeshare Directive, which sets clear guidelines on the protection of consumers in respect of certain aspects of timeshare, long-term holiday products, resale and, exchange contracts. The Directive simplified and extended measures for the protection of you, the consumer. They simplify and address any shortcomings within the current timeshare laws, as the new Directive applies to the same marketing and content of timeshare contracts. The Directive also addresses the sale of long-term holiday products, the resale of timeshares and, timeshare exchange contracts; the marketing and sale of which have been a nightmare for many owners.
Documentation explaining this legislation should have been provided to you when you were sold your timeshare or long-term holiday product. The good news is that if the resort did not give you this documentation, then the withdrawal period, which is normally 14 days, is not valid and does not begin until you have received it.
How does the legislation affect you?
You are legally able to cancel a timeshare agreement or holiday club contract within 14 days of the date that you signed the contract under the provisions of the withdrawal period under the new Regulations. If you bought the timeshare or holiday club product which was financed by a linked loan or other financial agreement, you will need to write to the financial institution who provided the loan and tell them that you want to cancel the agreement. You should put this in writing and send the notice of cancellation to the resort and the bank simultaneously. You should do this by recorded delivery so that you have proof of delivery. Email communication can also be proof of delivery, but this may be subject to argument. We would recommend that you do it in writing by both post and email to ensure your intentions are on record. Make sure you have some proof of delivery, both by mail and electronically.
You must send this within the 14 days withdrawal period. Ensure that you leave enough time and do not leave it until the eleventh hour or too near to the 14-day deadline, as the clock starts ticking the day you sign the agreement to purchase your timeshare.
You are not compelled to give a reason as to why you want to cancel the timeshare agreement or holiday club contract, you simply need to state the agreement number, the date that you signed it and that you wish to cancel. Make sure the dates are accurate and leave no doubt as to your intention to cancel your agreement.
If the resort has followed protocol it is good practice to include a ‘model cancellation’ letter which you can copy and submit to the resort. The good thing about using such a letter is the resort cannot argue that your intention to terminate has not been conveyed to them correctly.
It is important to know that if you have not been given the subscribed cancellation notice within the documents at the point of sale then, crucially, the 14-day withdrawal period does not begin until you receive them. If you are not in receipt of the notice of withdrawal, then check all your documentation to ensure that it was not included in the package with the sales information they gave you at the point of sale.
You also have further protection under the regulations, these are:
1. Consumers must be given a statutory minimum withdrawal period of ten days from signing the contract.
2. The taking of monies before the end of the withdrawal period is prohibited.
3. Contracts must be in the language of the member state in which the buyer resides.
4. Consumers must receive details and relevant information relating to the property purchase and their rights under the agreement.
What if you have already paid a deposit to the resort?
If you have paid any money to the resort within the 14-day withdrawal period, you are entitled to demand a full refund of any monies without deduction for administrators or any other fees that the seller may seek to impose upon you as a consequence of you requesting to withdraw within the 14-day period.
Please take the time to read this page in full and digest the relevant parts that apply specifically to yourself, as some situations may arise which can be a little more complex than some. If feel you do not understand, or you feel confused, and you seek further clarity in respect of your consumer your rights, please call Mercantile Claims, we have a dedicated team of timeshare experts who will deal with this for you.
It is important to remember that purchasing a Timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the timeshare industry. If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible Money Back Claim.